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Antioxidants: What Are They and Where Can I Find Them?

Specialty Products > What Are They and Where Can I Find Them?

Oxidation is a natural occurrence in the body. This is the process where cells are damaged due to metabolism, excessive sunlight, alcohol and/or smoking as well as pollution and unhealthy eating habits. Oxidation can contribute to a number of diseases such as cancer and heart disease and can also cause premature aging. How can a person deter the oxidation

What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are natural compounds that aid in protecting the body against the onslaught of "free radicals" that damage cells such as DNA and/or membranes. These compounds promote the growth of healthy cells. Antioxidants also perform other tasks within the body. They protect against premature aging, help fight macular degeneration, prevent cataracts and support the body's immune system.

While some antioxidants are found within the body, most have to be introduced via food consumption or a specialty product in order to maintain appropriate levels to combat oxidation. Where are antioxidants found?

Vitamins. Most vitamins contain high levels of antioxidants. Vitamins A, C and E are renowned for their effects. These can be found in vegetables, citrus fruits, grains, meats and dairy products. Because vitamins perform different functions, a healthy combination of each one should be consumed. A person may consider the use of a dietary supplement if the event he or she is not receiving the appropriate amounts of

Tea. While most people may not realize it, tea is a good source of antioxidants. Tea is renowned for its various healing properties. Green tea is the best source of antioxidants and can be purchased in a local grocery store.

Minerals. Like vitamins, different minerals perform a variety of functions in the body. Two minerals, selenium and zinc, are known for their antioxidant properties. Both minerals neutralize the oxidants that are introduced to the body via outside forces such as radiation or chemicals. Selenium can be found in a number of foods such as fish, seeds, grains and even drinking water. Zinc, on the other hand, is found mainly in beef, beans and nuts.

Vegetables. Although vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, they also contain lutein and lycopene, two essential antioxidants. Lutien is found in spinach and other green leafy vegetables and protects the eyes against damage

Although exercise is promotes good health for the body, excessive amounts can be a detriment to antioxidants in the body. A person should regulate the exercise performed on a regular basis as well as a healthy diet to maintain appropriate levels of antioxidants.

Specialty Products > What Are They and Where Can I Find Them?